Excerpts from the Oaklawnleaf.com:

Oak Lawn Village Manager Larry Deetjen has hired Michael Mavrogeorge as the new fire chief and Zachary Riddle as deputy chief. A press release didn’t mention that the village plans to continue the same labor relations that have driven a wedge between management and the firefighters union but did mention that the two men have been briefed on the issues.

Mavrogeorge has served the last ten years as fire chief and emergency management director of the St. Louis Downtown Airport. He currently serves as vice president of the International Association of Fire Chiefs Great Lakes Division. He is an instructor at the University of the Illinois Fire Service Institute in the Special Operations Training Program since 2005, and an instructor for the National Center for Biomedical Research and Training at Louisiana State University.

Deetjen called the fire department’s labor disputes the number one fiscal issue which is creating a negative impact for all departments due to the demands for funding. During this administration, he has successfully reduced the number of sworn personal in the department from 104 to 65.

The village manager, mayor, and the majority of the board have told the firefighter’s union that due to the reduced staffing, there are too many officers. The administration is expected to demand that the number of officers be reduced and that the starting salary for new firefighters be reduced.

According to sources within the fire department’s union membership and former membership, the village manager intends to push for a reduction in minimum manning in court once again. The village has been previously unable to reduce the number despite spending millions in legal fees.

Deetjen, perhaps in reference to outsourcing paramedic service, noted in the press release that the two men “…will exploit opportunities and partnerships  when such actions complement customer service and the Village’s million, values and fiscal constraints.”

Riddle has served as the deputy chief of operations for the Bloomingdale Fire Protection District No. 1. He rose through the ranks holding the positions of captain/acting shift commander in addition to other capacities for the Pleasantview Fire Protection District, serving the communities of Countryside, Indian Head Park, Hodgkins and parts of Burr Ridge, Willowbrook and LaGrange-Highlands. He is also a career officer achieving the rank of lieutenant-colonel in the U.S. Army Reserve, and served as chief of staff in the 303rd Maneuver Enhancement Brigade with assignments overseas.

Both men assumed their positions on Wedensday June 13th.

thanks Keith